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our present design, may either come under the head of Omens or that of Divination. Homer has told us that the Dream comes from Jupiter, and in all ages and every kingdom the idea that some knowledge of the future is to be derived from them has always composed a very striking article in the creed of popular superstitions. (1)

Every Dream, according to Wolfius, takes its rise from some sensation, and is continued by the succession of phantasms in the mind. His reasons are, that, when we dream, we imagine something, or the mind produces phantasms; but no phantasms can arise in the mind without a previous sensation. Hence neither can a Dream arise without some previous sensation.

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Here it may be stated, say Mr. Douce's MS. notes, that, if our author meant a previous sensation of the thing dreamt of, it is certainly not so.

Lord Bacon observes that the interpretation of natural Dreams has been much laboured, but mixed with numerous extravagancies, and adds that at present it stands not upon its best foundation. It may be observed that in our days, except amongst the most ignorant and vulgar, the whole imaginary structure has fallen to the ground.

Physicians seem to be the only persons at present who interpret Dreams. Frightful Dreams are perhaps always indications of some violent oppression of nature. Hippocrates has many curious observations on Dreams. Ennius of old has made that very sensible remark, that what men studied and pondered in the day-time, the same they dreamed on at night. I suppose there are few who cannot from their own experience assent to the truth of his observation. (3)

Various are the popular superstitions, or at least the faint traces of them, that still are made use of to procure Dreams of divination : such as fasting St. Agnes' Fast; (a) laying a piece of the first cut of a cheese at a lying-in, called vulgarly in the North the groaning cheese, (b) under the pillow, to cause young persons to dream of their lovers; and putting a Bible in the like situation, with a sixpence clapped in the book of Ruth, 3) &c. Various also

are the interpretations of Dreams given by old women, but of which the regard is insensibly wearing away.

See vol. i. p. 21.
See p. 44.


(“) A writer in the “Gent. Mag." for Sept. 1751, vol. xxi. p. 411, wittily observes that “ Dreams have for many ages been esteemed as the noblest resources at a dead lift : the Dreams of Homer were held in such esteem that they were styled golden Dreams; and among the Grecians we find a whole country using no other way for information but going to sleep. The Oropians, and all the votaries of Amphiaraus, are proofs of this assertion, as may be seen in Pausan. Attic."

Cornelius Agrippa, in his “ Vanity of Sciences,' p. 105, speaking of “ Interpretation of Dreams," says, “ To this delusion not a few great philosophers have given not a little credit, especially Democritus, Aristotle, and his follower, Themistius; Sinesius, also, the Plato

nic; so far building upon examples of Dreams, which some accident hath made to be true, that thence they endeavour to persuade men that there are no Dreams but what are real. But as to the causes of Dreams, both external and internal, they do not all agree in one judgment. For the Platonics reckon them among the specific and concrete notions of the soul. Avicen makes the cause of Dreams to be an ultimate intelligence moving the moon in the middle of that light with which the fancies of men are illuminate while they sleep. Aristotle refers the cause thereof to common sense, but placed in the fancy. Averroes places the cause in the imagination. Democritus ascribes it to little images or representatives separated from the things them

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Sternutatione & Somnio Vetularum, dimittere iter suum, seu Negotium.”

Henry, in his “ History of Great Britain," vol. iii. p. 575, tells us, “ We find Peter of Blois, who was one of the most learned men of the age in which he flourished, writing an account of his Dreams to his friend the Bishop of Bath, and telling him how anxious he had been about the interpretation of them: and that he had employed for that purpose divination by the Psalter. The English, it seems probable, had still more superstitious curiosity, and paid greater attention to Dreams and omens, than the Normans; for when William Rufus was dissuaded from going abroad on the morning of that day on which he was killed, because the Abbot of Gloucester had dreamed something which portended danger, he is said to have made this reply: • Do you imagine that I am an Englishman, to be frighted by a Dream, or the sneezing of an old woman?'”

In the “ Sapho and Phao” of Lilly, (the play-writer of the time of Queen Elizabeth,) Āto. Lond. 1584, are some pleasant observations on Dreams, act iv. sc. 3: “And can there be no trueth in Dreams? Yea, Dreams have their trueth. Dreames are but dotings, which come either by things we see in the day, or meates that we eate, and so the common sense preferring it to be the imaginative, I dreamed," says Ismena, “mine eye-tooth was loose, and that I thrust it out with my tongue. It fortelleth,” replies Mileta, “ the losse of a friend; and I ever thought thee so ful of prattle, that thou wouldest thrust out the best friend with thy tatling.” Gaule, in his “

Mag-astromancers posed and puzzel'd,” p. 181, gives us, among many other vain observations and superstitious ominations thereupon-" the snorting in sleep,"

-“ the dreaming of gold, silver, eggs, gardens, weddings, dead men, dung,' &c.

The following from Cicero will be thought to contain some pleasantry on the subject of Dreams: “ Cicero, among others, relates this: A certain man dreamed that there was an egg hid under his bed; the soothsayer to whom he applied bimself for the interpretation of the Dream told him that in the same place where he imagined to see the egg there was treasure hid; whereupon he caused the

selves; Albertus, to the superior influences which continually flow from the skie through many specific mediums. The physicians impute the cause thereof to vapours and humours; others to the affections and cares predominant in persons when awake. Others joyn the powers of the soul, celestial influences, and images together, all making but one cause. Arthemidorus and Daldianus have written of the interpretation of Dreams; and certain books go about under Abraham's name, whom Philo, in his · Book of tbe Gyants and of Civil Life,' asserts to have been the first practiser thereof. Other treatises there are, falsified under the names of David and Solomon, wherein are to be read nothing but meer dreams concerning Dreams. But Marcus Cicero, in his · Book of Divination,' nath given sufficient reasons against the vanity and folly of those that give credit to Dreams, which I purposely here omit.

In “ Moresini Papatus," p. 162, we read, “ Somniandi modus Franciscanorum hinc duxit originem. Antiqui moris fuit Oracula et futurorum præscientiam quibusdam adhibitis sacris per insomnia dari : qui mos talis erat, ut Victimas cæderent, mox sacrificio peracto sub pellibus cæsarum Ovium incubantes, somnia captarent, eaque lymphatica insomnia verissimos exitus sortiri. Alex. ab Alex. lib. iii. c. 26. Et Monachi super storea cubant in qua alius Frater ecstaticus fuerat somniatus, sacrificat missam, preces et jejunia adhibet, inde ut communiter fit de amoribus per somnia cousulit, redditque responsa pro occurrentibus Spectris," &c.

Bartholinus de Causis contemptæ a Danis, &c. Mortis, p. 678, says, “ Itaque Divinationem ex Somniis apud omnes propemodum Gentes expetitam fuisse certissimum, licet quædam magis præ aliis fuerint deditæ. Septentrionales veteres sagaci somniorum interpretatione pollentes fuisse, Arngrimus "annotavit; in tantum sane eorum fuerunt observantes, ut pleraque quæ sibi obversabantur, momentosa crediderint & perfectam idcirco ab eis futurorum hauriendam cogni. tionem.”

In the same work, p. 677, “ Pronunciante apud Ordericum Vitalem Gulielmo Rege dicto Rufo, somnia stertentium sibi referri indignante, quod Anglorum ritus fuerit, pro


says he, s

place to be digged up, and there accordingly he found silver, and in the midst of it a good quantity of gold, and, to give the interpreter some testimony of his acknowledgment, he brought him some pieces of the silver which he had found; but the soothsayer, hoping also to have some of the gold, said, And will you not give me some of the yolk too ?" Lowde's Amyraldus on Divine Dreams, p. 22.

Reginald Scot, in his “Discovery of Witchcraft," p. 102, informs us of “ The Art and Order to be used in digging for Money, revealed by Dreams." “ There must be made,"

upon a hazel wand three crosses, and certain words must be said over it, and hereunto must be added certain characters and barbarous names. And whilst the treasure is a digging, there must be read the psalms · De profundis,' &c., and then a certain prayer; and if the time of digging be neglected, the Devil will carry all the treasure away."

The knitting a true-love-knot to see the person one is to marry in a Dream has been already noticed from the “ Connoisseur." (See p. 69.) Some verses on the occasion, similar to those already quoted, are preserved in Aubrey's “ Miscellanies," p. 137.

Gregory, in his “ Posthuma, Episcopus Puerorum,' p. 113, mentions a singular superstition: “Some are so superstitiously given as upon the night of St. Gregorie's day to have their children asked the question in their sleep, whether they have anie minde to book or no: and if they saie Yes, they count it a very good presage; but iff the children answer nothing, or nothing to that purpose, they put them over to the plough."

(*) In the “ Gent. Mag." for Jan. 1799, vol. lxix. p. 33, are some curious rhymes on the subject of Dreams, from the Harl. MS. 511, fol. 228 b: Upon my ryght syde y may leye, blessid

Lady to the y prey
Ffor the teres that ye lete, upon your swete

Sonnys feete ;
Sende me grace for to slepe, and good

Dremys for to mete;
Slepyng wakyng till morrowe day bee :
Owre Lorde is the freute, our Ladye is the

Blessid be the blossom that sprange lady of

the. In nõie patris & filii & sp's sancti. Amen."

6. He that dreams he hath lost a tooth shall lose a friend (he has lost one), and he that dreams that a rib is taken out of his side shall ere long see the death of his wife.” See Lowde's “ Amyraldus,” p. 22.

Thus Shylock, in the “Merchant of Venice," says: “ There is some ill a brewing towards my rest,

For I did dream of money-bags to-night.

Bishop Hall, in his “ Characters of Vertues and Vices,” speaking of the superstitious man, observes :

But, if his troubled fancie shall second his thoughts with the Dreame of a faire garden, or greene rushes, or the salutation of a dead friend, he takes leave of the world, and sayes he cannot live."-" There is no Dream of his without an interpretation, without a prediction; and, if the event answer not his exposition, he expounds it according to the event.”

In Sir Thomas Overbury's Character of a faire and happy Milkmaid is the following passage: “Her Dreames are so chaste that she dare tell them: only a Fridaies Dream is all her superstition: that she conceales for feare of anger.”

Melton, in his “ Astrologaster," p. 45, No. 13, says

That if a man be drowsie it is a signe of ill lucke.” 18.“ That, if a man dreame of egs or fire, he shall heare of anger.” 19. 66 That to dreame of the Devil is good lucke." 20. “That to dreame of gold is good lucke, but of silver ill.“ He observes in No. 33, in which he will find few of a different opinion, “that it is a very ill signe to be melancholy.”

In “ The Country-mans Counsellor,'' 12mo. Lond. 1633, p. 330, by way of dialogue, I find the following to our purpose :

Q. What credit or certainty is there to be attributed to Dreames, and which are held the most portendous and significant?-A. These, as they are observed by experience, and set downe by authors. To dreame of eagles flying over our heads, to dreame of marriages, dancing, and banquetting, foretells some of our kinsfolkes are departed; to dreame of silver, if thou hast it given to thyselfe, sorrow;

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of gold, good fortune ; to lose an axle toth or ried, signifies that some of your kinsfolks is an eye, the death of some friend ; to dream dead; to dream that you worship God, signi. of bloody teeth, the death of the Dreamer ; to fies gladness; to look in a glass, doth portend weepe in sleepe, joy; to see one's face in the some issue, or a child ; to have oil poured upon water, or to see the dead, long life; to handle

you, signifies joy.” Also, ibid. 6, “To see lead, to see a hare, death; to dream of chickens monks in one's Dream, doth portend death or and birds, ill luck,” &c.

calamity; to see fat oxen, betokens plenty of In the twelfth book of " A Thousand Nota all things; to lose an eye or a tooth, signifies ble Things” are the following interpretations the death of some friend, or of a kinsman, or of Dreams :

some other evil luck; to dream to be dumb, “ 28. If a woman dream she is kindling a foreshews speedy gladness; to see oxen plow, fire, it denotes she will be delivered of a male betokens gain: to enter into waters, betokens child. To dream you see a stack of corn evil.–Artemidorus." burnt, signifies famine and mortality. If a And, in the fourth book, we read : 46. “ To sick person dreams of a river or fountain of kill serpents in your Dream, signifies victory; clear water, it denotes a recovery.

to see sails of ships is evil; to dream that all “29. If a young man dreams he draws water your teeth are bloody, it signifies the death of out of a well, it signifies he will be speedily the Dreamer; but that the teeth are drawn out, married. To dream that he has a glass full signifies the death of another ; that birds enter of water given him, signifies marriage.

into a house, signifies loss; to weep, betokens 30. To dream of seeing a barn well stored, joy; to handle money, signifies anger; to see signifies marriage of a rich wife.

dead horses, signifies a lucky event of things. “31. If a woman dreams of being delivered -Artemidorus." Ibid. 11, it is said : “ He of a child, yet is not big, it is a sign she shall that sleepeth in a sheep's skin shall see true at length be happily brought to bed. If a Dreams, or dream of things that be true.” maid dream the same Dream, it signifies ban In“ A Strange Metamorphosis of Man transquet, joy, and succeeding nuptials.

formed into a Wildernesse, Deciphered in “32. To dream of little rain and drops of Characters, 12mo. Lond. 1634, under No. water, is good for plowmen.

37, “ The Bay Tree,” it is observed : “ Nor is “33. To dream of being touched with light he altogether free from superstition ; for he will ning, to the unmarried signifies marriage; but make you beleeve that, if you put his leaves it breaks marriages made, and makes friends but under your pillow, you shall be sure to enemies.

have true Dreames." “ 34. To dream of having or seeing the fore In the old play of “ The Vow-Breaker, or head of a lion, betokens the getting of a male the Fair Maid of Clifton,” 4to. Lond. 1636, child.

act i., Ursula speaks :“ I have heard you - 35. To dream of roasted swine's flesh, sig say that Dreames and Visions were fabulous; nifies speedy profit. To dream of drinking and yet one time I dreamt fowle water ran sweet wine, betokens good success in law.” through the floore, and the next day the house

Ibid. book vi. 11, we read : “ To dream that was on fire. You us'd to say hobgoblins, you go over a broken bridge, betokens fear ; fairies, and the like, were nothing but our owne to have your head cut off for a heinous offence, affrightments, and yet o' my troth, cuz, I once signifies the death of friends; to make clean dream'd of a young batchelour, and was ridd the bands betokens trouble; to see hands filthy with a night-mare. But come, so my conand foul, betokens loss and danger ; to feed science be cleere, I never care how fowle my lambs, signifies grief and pain; to take flies, Dreames are." signifies wrong or injury.-Mizaldus."

(3) “ 'Tis a custom among couutry girls to Ibid. book v. 33, it is stated that, “ To put the Bible under their pillows at night, dream that eagles fly over your head doth be with sixpence clapt in the book of Ruth, in token evil fortune : to dream that you see order to dream of the men destined to be their your face in water, signifies long life; to fol husbands." See “Poems by Nobody," 8vo. low bees, betokens gain or profit; to be mar Lond. 1770, p. 199, note.

Strutt, describing the manners of the English, “ Manners and Customs," vol. ii. p. 180, says: “Writing their name on a paper at twelve o'clock, burning the same, then care

fully gathering up the ashes, and laying them close wrapp'd in a paper upon a looking-glass, marked with a cross, under their pillows, this should make them dream of their loves."


“ But with the Moon was more familiar

Than e'er was almanac well-willer;
Her secrets understood so clear,
That some believ'd he had been there;
Knew when she was in fittest mood
For cutting corus (1) or letting blood;
When for anointing scabs or itches,
Or to the bum applying leeches ;
When sows and bitches may be spay'd,
And in what sign best cider's made;
Whether the wane be, or increase,
Best to set garlic or sow pease:
Who first found out the Man i' th’ Moon,
That to the ancients was unknown.

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Tue Moon, the ancient object of idolatrous worship, has in late times composed an article in the creed of popular Superstition. The ancient Druids had their superstitious rites at the changes of the Moon. This planet, as Dr. Johuson tells us, has great influence in vulgar philosophy. In his memory, he observes, it was a precept annually given in one of the English Almanacs, to kill hogs when the Moon was increasing, and the bacon would prove the better in boiling:()

The hornedness of the New Moon is still faintly considered by the vulgar as an omen with regard to the weather. They say, on that occasion, the New Moon looks sharp.(?)

Bailey tells us that the common people, in some counties of England, are accustomed at the prime of the Moon to say, “It is a fine Moon, God bless her;" which some imagine to proceed from a blind zeal, retained from the ancient Irish, who worshipped the Moon, or from a custom in Scotland (particularly in the Highlands), where the women make a curtesy to the New Moon; and some English women still retain a touch of this Gentilism, who getting up upon, and sitting astride on, a gate or stile, the first night of the New Moon, say: “ All hail to the Moon, all hail to thee!

I prithee, good Moon, declare to me,

This night, who my husband shall be."(3) The person, says Grose, must presently after go to bed, when they will dream of the person destined to be their future husband or wife. In Yorkshire they kneel on a ground-fast stone.

Butler, in his “Hudibras," part ii. canto ii. 1. 239, touches on the subject of Lunar superstitions; speaking of his conjurer, he

He made an instrument to know
If the Moon shine at full;
That would as soon as e'er she shone,

Whether 'twere day or night demonstrate;
Tell what her d'meter t’an inch is,
And prove that she's not made of green

cheese. It would demonstrate that the Man in The Moon's() a sea Mediterranean, And that it is no dog nor bitch That stands behind him at his breech, But a huge Caspian Sea, or lake, With arms, which men for legs mistake; How large a gulf his tail composes, And what a goodly bay his nose is ; How many German leagues by th’scale Cape Snout's from Promontory Tail."

The Rev. Mr. Shaw, in his Account of Elgiu and the Shire of Murray (see the Appendix to Pennant's Tour), informs us that at the full Moon in March the inhabitants cut withies of the misletoe or ivy, make circles of them, keep them all the year, and pre

tells us :

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